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Decal or not to Decal - Bike resto-mods

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Decal or not to Decal - Bike resto-mods

Old 05-12-19, 08:58 PM
  #1  
jskita
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Decal or not to Decal - Bike resto-mods

I see a whole lot of very nice bikes in the CV forums. I know that many have pristine classics and as we can see in the clunker challenges, many are very happy with the clunkers. I am thinking there is a resto-mod thread somewhere but I can't find it.

I appreciate the simple aesthetic of the vintage steel frames and how there seems to be so much customization of them. I prefer to get them fixed up and on the road so I can have fun with them, but even though I tear them down to the frame, I am too impatient to wait for decals and the process of protecting them. Also, I know my bike frames get very beat up transporting them, so I don't really bother with the frame finish too much.

Can you show me some cool not-pristine vintage resto-mods?

Thanks!
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Old 05-13-19, 06:06 AM
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Are you looking for frames that have been refinished, or classic bikes that have been hot rodded?
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Old 05-13-19, 06:12 AM
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Old 05-13-19, 06:20 AM
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Here you go: 88 Bottecchia Team Record. SLX, Dura Ace 7700 but 7 speed freewheel on 7400 hubs. Original paint and chrome, looks good from 10 feet but lots of touch up on the frame:

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Old 05-13-19, 07:46 AM
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'86 Super Sport - Bought it cheap, bolted to a trainer, with only a rear wheel - Looks great from here, but quite a bit of touch up needed at the head / top tube junction, from the guy's sweat dripping on it for years ......
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Old 05-13-19, 09:27 AM
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Paint is chipped all over, decals are worn to the point of being gone in some places, much of the first-gen Dura Ace swapped out for Suntour. Not original -- better than. Is this what you mean?
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Old 05-13-19, 09:46 AM
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I'm not sure I understand the question - are you looking for example pictures of C&V bikes refinished without decals?

Assuming that's what you mean, I can contribute because I'm partial to that look myself:
(all pics link to bigger versions)




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Old 05-13-19, 10:12 AM
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84' Bianchi Alloro , as traded for . The other guy got the better end of the deal , but that's fine I always wanted one of these . Talk about a clunker , I didn't even try to ride the thing . Got a Tetanus shot and went to work .



IMG_0263 by mark westi, on Flickr

IMG_0255 by mark westi, on Flickr

IMG_0252 by mark westi, on Flickr

My other bikes are nice , the bike I traded for this was a Nishiki that I built up from just a frame . When I clear coated the decals I got to heavy with the first coat and melted them .


IMG_0010 by mark westi, on Flickr

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Old 05-13-19, 11:59 AM
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I had a feeling this would be hard to understand. After seeing the responses I did get to see everything I wanted to though! I think I am looking for modified vintage with a disregard for decals. I guess that is not a restomod, but a rat mod? I suppose it could be a vintage frankenbike?

@Hudson308 - Yes, modded vintage but with more patina and character.
@rccardr - I have a few heavily touched up bikes that look great from a few feet back. They actually look restored, and even though the average person doesn't notice, WE know it's bumpy and lumpy!
@lasauge - You addressed what my post started out with. I wanted to know what people thought of going through the work of painting but just didn't care about the decals. Thank you!
@markwesti - would you paint one and leave out the decals?
@thinktubes - Yes those are modded with no regard for the decal


Here are two extremes without decals; one modded and one just a jacked up CL clunker (now it's the light blue one) that I paid too much money for. I actually entered it in the clunker challenge but I already blew the budget.

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Old 05-13-19, 12:13 PM
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So how about this?

Many moons ago I bought a Union Sapporo frame set for €5.

This is what the bike would have looked like originally:



This is what it looks like after I had my way with it:

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Old 05-13-19, 12:29 PM
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These are all good looking bikes. Are you looking for good bikes that may have chipped paint and signs of wear?

I think that fixing up a steel frame but not repainting it or trying to make it look pretty is a good thing. Definitely, stealthy. Around NYC I see some good bikes that have been beat up but are still good bikes. The owners enjoy riding these bikes and they may not be as desirable to steal. I think the point for these owners is that they are daily riders and trying to keep up ascetics is a loosing battle.

Those bikes are certainly around.

Please post pics of one or more of your bikes. Most here can look past the faded paint, wear and see a diamond in the rough.
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Old 05-13-19, 12:32 PM
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@non-fixie - How did you feel when you painted over it? Do you not like decals? What compelled you to go solid color?
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Old 05-13-19, 12:32 PM
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With the flattened down tube, I think this may be a relative of the infamous Huffy Aerowind. It was given to me when some friends were cleaning out their garage. It was branded JC Penny, but I brushed on a coat of matte black Rustoleum during a parts-bin challenge a few years ago. I just rebuilt the rear wheel with a coaster brake hub I got for free at the Ann Arbor swap. The rest of the parts are scavenged from other free bikes. The seat post has a slot and grub screw, a system I have not seen before. Not that it matters, because it is quite stuck. Luckily it is about the right height for me. I didn't have anything specific in mind for it, I just threw it together as a beater.

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Old 05-13-19, 01:15 PM
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I like decals if I'm restoring a bike. I just think a bike doesn't look right without some kind of decals. Other people seem to prefer the bare paint/powder on the tubes.

If you're just going to talk about disregard for decals, that typically ends up with a bike showing what some people lovingly refer to as patina. If you see a bike without any decals, it usually means someone went to some effort to make it that way (old Pinarellos not withstanding). I bike with ratty decals, on the other hand, is an old bike in its natural state. The best example from my stable is my V'Ger.



Pictures are generally kind to ratty old bikes like this. This bike is actually in really rough shape. I slapped on some craft store paint to cover up the bare metal where I tried to roll the dents out of the top and down tubes. You have to look for it to see that. From a long distance, the "Schwinn" decal looks more or less intact, but up close it's really not. This is a bike that's had a hard life, and it shows.

At the other end of the spectrum is a RockHopper that I built for my daughter. She hated the original red and green color scheme, so I had it powder coated for her. She didn't want decals.



The components reflect a cheapo rebuild, and the powder coating was only around $100, but it looks nice even up close.

Then there's a bike like my trust Specialized Sequoia.



A previous owner had mid-fork braze-ons added and did a quick fade paint job to cover it up. I haven't done anything to the paint or decals. Apart from the fork, this bike is in its natural state. I can't say how frequently it was used in the 34 years before I bought it, but in the three years since it's been ridden regularly. It doesn't look beat up, but it hasn't received any sort of restoration. I think a lot of old bikes fall into this category.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:37 PM
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Here are two builds I've done in the last year. The Maruishi has really flaky paint, I recently tuned up another that had the same thing going on. I used naval jelly to remove the rust, then waxed it to help protect it.

The other one is Italian, maybe a Botecchia?

I'm not a fan of branding, so the Gary Fisher Sugar I'm repainting and building up for myself won't be getting any decals. I've had fun figuring out ways of removing logos from parts on the bikes I plan on owning for a long time.
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Old 05-13-19, 01:47 PM
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Submitted, for your disapproval. My rat rod Univega:




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Old 05-13-19, 02:16 PM
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@gugie does a lot of "resto-MODDING". And, has come up with some very pretty bikes.

Some people come up with decals that are very close to the originals, but different in some important aspect so that they reflect both the modder's whims, as well as the original maker.
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Old 05-13-19, 02:18 PM
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@Arrowana - I never would have envisioned a camo color combination- very nice. I never knew olive drab tired existed!
@Lemond1985 - "rat rod" was the term I thought was what best described in my mind what I was requesting, but rat rods can also be very polished in the auto world. "rat" says to me...patina.
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Old 05-13-19, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
@non-fixie - How did you feel when you painted over it?
Wonderful!

Originally Posted by jskita View Post
Do you not like decals?
It didn't have any anymore. This is the frame as I bought it. The lavender-colored one. One reason the repaint didn't bother me is that these Miki-built frames were not unique to one brand. Besides Union they were sold by Alimo and apparently, as the pic below shows, Bontekoe.




Originally Posted by jskita View Post
What compelled you to go solid color?
The objective was to build a comfortable tourer with a classic look & feel that would not handle like a truck. This frame was the perfect starting point: tall, short-but-not-too-short wheelbase, light-ish and well-built. I chose the solid blue-grey paint as it was a popular color for bikes during the immediate postwar years in my area.
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Old 05-13-19, 07:20 PM
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@jskita , Q would I paint one and leave off the decals . A no , I love decals . I'm even in the process of having some custom made . Come to think of it the first C&V bike I built 10 yrs. ago I did not put decals on , I don't know why . It was a frankin' bike but it was cool , Shimano Sante grupo and a chrome Columbus fork . I painted the frame satin white . Finest lawn chair paint I could find .
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Old 05-13-19, 07:27 PM
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Resto-barf 🙊
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Old 05-13-19, 07:36 PM
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I just put 1950s era Viking decals on a 1990s Trek, so thatís a different approach maybe.
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Old 05-13-19, 08:22 PM
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This Centurion touring bike came to me as a rattlecan mess. I gave it some new paint but couldn't find any Centurion decals that looked good with the paint so I left it bare.




However I gave it a headbadge made from an Aussie coin that struck my fancy.



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Old 05-13-19, 08:34 PM
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This one is done. I think it's going back on CL The frame geometry is too tight for fenders and bigger tires or else I'd keep it. I sorta put the badge on but it's not permanent.
it
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Old 05-13-19, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jskita View Post
a rat mod? I suppose it could be a vintage frankenbike?
Is there a Franken RAT around here?



It does sport what remained of the original decals.
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